Research + Projects

Evaluation of the Women’s SupPORT Pathways Project

The CIJ’s independent evaluation of the Women’s SupPORT Pathways project, delivered by the Law and Advocacy Centre for Women (LACW), has found evidence of a range of positive impacts from this innovative, gender-based sports program.

With funding from the Victorian Crime Prevention Innovation Fund, the project linked criminalised women, and women at risk of contact with the justice system, with community football clubs and fitness activities, providing opportunities for a sense of connection and belonging in a mainstream context. The LACW project team provided trauma-informed case managed support for women linked with clubs, while at the same time guiding and supporting clubs to deliver a welcoming and inclusive experience for the participants. Footy clinics and fitness sessions were also delivered to women in prison and in social housing settings.

The final report outlines the many ways the Pathways project resulted in positive impacts both for the participating women, and for the club members who signed up for the project. Shedding light on some of the challenges encountered in delivering the project has allowed LACW to strengthen and expand the model, while also contributing to the knowledge base on delivering sports-based interventions for women with complex life histories and support needs.

You can read a summary of the key findings here and the full report here.

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Key People

Catherine Caruana

Catherine Caruana

Senior Adviser, Research and Advocacy

Catherine’s work at the CIJ supports the centre's priority research stream into women in the justice system and the need to develop alternatives to imprisoning women.

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Elena Campbell

Elena Campbell

Associate Director of Research, Advocacy & Policy

Elena is a lawyer, speechwriter and former political staffer who has worked in legal and social policy for over 20 years. Elena’s expertise includes therapeutic justice, women’s decarceration, equal opportunity and human rights, as well as the prevention and elimination of violence against women and children.

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Riley Ellard

Riley Ellard

Manager, Strategy & System Design

Riley has worked in social policy across a range of sectors including disability, child protection, mental health and family violence.

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